Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ba Duan Jin (Part 8 of 8) – Seven Jolts Prevent All the Ailments


This week's post is a detailed look at the Ba Duan Jin qigong exercise called Seven Jolts Prevent All the Ailments. It is also known as Bouncing on the Toes and as Raising the Heels to Keep All Illnesses Away. It is traditionally the eighth of the exercises.

Ba Duan Jin is a traditional qigong routine with hundreds of variations. It is variously translated as Eight Silken Brocades, Eight Pieces of Silk Brocades, Eight Section Brocade, Eight Silken Exercises, Eight Fine Exercises, or many other names.

Qigong is all about body, mind, and breath. These exercises contain specific movements that are synchronized with the breath while the mind concentrates on the movements. The exercises are intended to help develop mental focus and calm, peaceful movements. At all times, keep your knees loose and flexible.

Explanation:
Raising up on your heels stimulates six of the main qi meridians and balances the flow of qi.

ALTERNATE: If you have knee or back problems, do not lower with a jolt. Gently lower your heels to the ground. If you have difficulty with balance while performing this exercise, keep one foot flat on the ground and raise the other heel. Alternate sides.

Standing Instructions:
1. Stand in wuji with your feet apart for good balance. Keep your hands at your sides. Your head should be kept erect and natural. Look straight ahead, keeping your knees straight.
2. Inhale deeply and lift your heels as high as you can. Draw back your shoulders and expand your chest. Use your hands as necessary for balance.
3. Exhale completely and lower your heels rapidly with a jolt.
4. Come back to the beginning position.
5. Do this exercise seven times.

Modification for seated form:
1. Sit in wuji with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your knees, keeping your head erect and natural. Look straight ahead with your knees straight.
2. Inhale deeply and lift your heels as high as you can. At the same time, press down with your hands, applying a little pressure on your knees.
3. Exhale completely and press down with your hands, simultaneously lowering your heels rapidly with a jolt.

Modification for a more challenging form:
1. Stand at attention with your toes set apart like a “V”. Gasp your hands behind your back. Your head should be kept erect and natural. Eyes look straight ahead, knees straight.
2. Inhale deeply and lift your heels as high as you can. As a result of pulling on your hands, your shoulders are drawn back and your chest is pushed out.
3. Exhale completely and let go of your hands, simultaneously lowering your heels rapidly with a jolt.
4. Come back to the beginning position. Switch hands behind your back.

Benefits & Effects:
1. Opens up the blockages you might have in your internal channels.
2. The jolts will strengthen your memory.
3. Deep breathing helps to relax.

For the rest of this series, start with:

© 2013 Eric Borreson